By: E. Westphalen
Who would’ve imagined that it’d be possible to return from a Duke of Edinburgh trip and actually yearn to return to its very start? Well, I certainly didn’t, but last month I was proved wrong.
On Friday, 8th of December, a group of idle adventures made their way down to Paraty, located in Rio de Janeiro state, where their long journey waited ahead of them. And so it began.
We kicked off the first day with a reinvigorating breakfast to brace us for the walking hours to come. Not too short afterwards, we hopped onto a public bus that would take us to a coach station, which would drive us over to some docks, where we’d climb aboard a boat and set sail to Ponta Negra. Needless to say, we had quite the joy ride. As for the hiking itself, let’s just clarify that the doggo found along the way was the highlight of the trail. If not for his canine loyalty, I’m certain the trek would’ve been more enduring and our mood more deflated.
Upon arrival at the campsite we were greeted with the luxury of a working bathroom and shower to keep our dignity in check. Once all groups came together –which, by the way of things took quite some time considering that one group decided to get lost for the sake of cruising in at last with an improvised life boat - we all gathered in this not-so-warm-natural-jacuzzi to soak our sorrows away. Conveniently, this set a carefree atmosphere for the evening meal and guaranteed a good night of sleep.
Not to get too literary, but the sunrise took my breath away; it felt like we had risen to the crashing of morning waves in Hawaii. Having said that, breakfast did its job and so did we. All groups made it to lunch with time to spare to relish in pristine, crystal-clear waters. The only issue being my cream-cheese ending up finely dressed with sand. Other than that, the rest of the day ran smoothly, reaching the following campsite with just enough sunlight to see it reflecting onto the water’s ceaseless surface. Then we rigged. Ate. Laughed, and at last slept.
The third day hit us strong with over 2km of trudging on fluffy white sand with the glowing sun scorching our backs – a piece of cake, I’ll say. To top it all off, we scaled peaks 500m above sea level to ultimately make it to our final destination.
In the end, I bet there would’ve been a handful of people who would’ve joined me in repeating the entire experience. Despite our solemn whims, that was beyond our control. And just like that, the country road took us home.